June 8, 2009
ATLANTA – Matt Kuchar, a 2000 Georgia Tech graduate, and Cameron Tringale, who graduated in May, qualified for the United States Open Golf Championship Monday at a sectional qualifier in Ball Ground, Ga., while 1993 alum David Duval qualified in Columbus, Ohio.
The U.S. Open will be played next week, June 18-21, at Bethpage State Park (Black Course) in Farmingdale, N.Y.
Kuchar tied for first place at the sectional played at Hawks Ridge Golf Club in Ball Ground, Ga., firing rounds of 66 and 68 to finish at 10-under-par 134. He tied with Matt Nagy of Buena Vista, Ga., who fired a 9-under 63 in his afternoon round after a morning 71. The Atlanta, Ga., resident will be playing in his fourth Open.
Tringale, a 2009 graduate who received first-team All-America honors at Tech this spring, shot rounds of 67-68 to finish in third. The top three finishers out of 80 golfers qualified.
“I was nervous, but I just sat at a table with (Matt) Kuchar and tried to talk about anything but golf,” said Tringale Monday night. “I just sort of hung out while the rest of the players finished. One of the officials came and and said we’d made it. It was pretty sweet. Now I’m home going through all the paperwork I have to do.”
Tringale, who elected to remain an amateur following the conclusion of his college career at the NCAA Championship in an effort to make the U.S. Walker Cup team, has made a strong push already. Last week, Tringale went 3-0-1 in his matches at the Palmer Cup, though the USA team lost to Europe. Now, he has qualified for his first U.S. Open.
It is the fourth time one of head coach Bruce Heppler’s Tech players has made the U.S. Open field as an amateur. Kuchar competed as an amateur in 1998 at the Olympic Club in San Francisco the year after he won the U.S. Amateur. His teammate, Bryce Molder, played in the 1999 Open at Pinehurst, N.C., after his sophomore year, and the 2001 Open at Southern Hills following his senior year.
Meanwhile, David Duval, who completed his career at Tech in 1993 and earned first-team All-America honors four times, was one of 17 qualifiers at Brookside Golf and Country Club and The Lakes Golf and Country Club. With rounds of 66 and 69 Monday, Duval was one of seven players who tied for 10th place at 9-under-par 135. A veteran of two Ryder Cup matches and three Presidents Cups, Duval will be playing in his 13 Open, and his first since 2006.
Duval, Kuchar and Tringale will join 1995 Tech graduate Stewart Cink in the Open field. Cink, a three-time All-American, is fully exempt this year and will play in the championship for the 14th time.